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Notice

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP); Extension of Deadline for Submission of Petitions for the 2003 Annual GSP Product and Country Eligibility Practices Review

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AGENCY:

Office of the United States Trade Representative.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This notice extends the deadline for the submission of petitions for the 2003 Annual GSP Product and Country Eligibility Practices Review to September 2, 2003. Notification of which petitions are accepted for the 2003 Annual GSP Review and of other relevant dates will be published in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES:

Submit petitions by electronic mail (e-mail) to FR0081@ustr.gov. If unable to submit petitions by e-mail, contact the GSP Subcommittee, Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), 1724 F Street, NW., Room F-220, Washington, DC 20508, at (202) 395-6971.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

The GSP Subcommittee, Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), 1724 F Street, NW., Room F-220, Washington, DC 20508. The telephone number is (202) 395-6971 and the facsimile number is (202) 395-9481.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The GSP provides for the duty-free importation of designated articles when imported from beneficiary developing countries. The GSP is authorized by Title V of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2461, et seq.), as amended (the “Trade Act”), and is implemented in accordance with Executive Order 11888 of November 24, 1975, as modified by subsequent Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations.

2003 Annual GSP Review

The GSP regulations (15 CFR part 2007) provide the schedule of dates for conducting an annual review, unless otherwise specified by Federal Register notice. Notice is hereby given that, in order to be considered in the 2003 Annual GSP Product and Country Eligibility Practices Review, all petitions to modify the list of articles eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP or to review the GSP status of any beneficiary developing country must be received by the GSP Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee no later than 5 p.m. on September 2, 2003. Petitions submitted after the extended deadline will not be considered for review.

Interested parties, including foreign governments, may submit petitions to: (1) Designate additional articles as eligible for GSP benefits, including to designate articles as eligible for GSP benefits only for countries designated as least-developed beneficiary developing countries, or only for countries designated as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA); (2) withdraw, suspend or limit the application of duty-free treatment accorded under the GSP with respect to any article, either for all beneficiary developing countries, least-developed beneficiary developing countries or beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, or for any of these countries individually; (3) waive the “competitive need limitations” for individual beneficiary developing countries with respect to specific GSP-eligible articles (these limits do not apply to either least-developed beneficiary developing countries or beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries); and (4) otherwise modify GSP coverage. As specified in 15 CFR 2007.1, all product petitions must include a detailed description of the product and the subheading of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the United States under which the product is classified.

Any person may also submit petitions to review the designation of any beneficiary developing country, including any least-developed beneficiary developing country, with respect to any of the designation criteria listed in sections 502(b) or 502(c) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2462(b) and (c)) (petitions to review the designation of beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries are considered in the Annual Review of the AGOA, a separate administrative process not governed by the GSP regulations). Such petitions must comply with the requirements of 15 CFR 2007.0(b).

Requirements for Submissions

All such submissions must conform to the GSP regulations set forth at 15 CFR part 2007, except as modified below. These regulations are reprinted in “A Guide to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)” (August 1991) (“GSP Guidebook”), available at http://www.ustr.gov. Any person or party making a submission is strongly advised to review the GSP regulations. Submissions that do not provide the information required by sections 2007.0 and 2007.1 of the GSP regulations will not be accepted for review, except upon a detailed showing in the submission that the petitioner made a good faith effort to obtain the information required. Petitions with respect to waivers of the “competitive need limitations” must meet the information requirements for product addition requests in section 2007.1(c) of the GSP regulations. A model petition format is available from the GSP Subcommittee and is included in the GSP Guidebook. Petitioners are requested to use this model petition format so as to ensure that all information requirements are met. Furthermore, interested parties submitting petitions that request action with respect to specific products should list on the first page of the petition the following information after typing “2003 Annual GSP Review”: (1) The requested action; (2) the HTS subheading in which the product is classified; and (3) if applicable, the beneficiary developing country.

Petitions and requests must be submitted, in English, to the Chairman of the GSP Subcommittee, Trade Policy Staff Committee, and must be received no later than September 2, 2003. Submissions in response to this notice will be available for public inspection by appointment with the staff of the USTR Public Reading Room, except for information granted “business confidential” status pursuant to 15 CFR 2003.6. If the submission contains business confidential information, a non-confidential version of the submission must also be submitted that indicates where confidential information was redacted by inserting asterisks where material was deleted. In addition, the confidential submission must be clearly marked “BUSINESS CONFIDENTIAL” in large, bold letters at the top and bottom of each and every page of the document. The public version that does not contain business confidential information must also be clearly marked in large, bold letters at the top and bottom of each and every page (either “PUBLIC VERSION” or “NON-CONFIDENTIAL”).

In order to facilitate prompt consideration of submissions, USTR strongly urges and prefers electronic mail (e-mail) submissions in response to this notice. Hand-delivered submissions will not be accepted. E-mail submissions should be single copy transmissions in English with the total submission including attachments not to exceed 50 pages in 12-point type and 3 megabytes as a digital file attached to Start Printed Page 42157an e-mail transmission. E-mail submissions should use the following subject line: “2003 Annual GSP Review-Petition.” Documents must be submitted as either WordPerfect (“.WPD”), MSWord (“.DOC”), or text (“.TXT”) file. Documents should not be submitted as electronic image files or contain imbedded images (for example, “.JPG”, “PDF”, “.BMP”, or “.GIF”) as these type files are generally excessively large. E-mail submissions containing such files may not be accepted. Supporting documentation submitted as spreadsheets are acceptable as Quattro Pro or Excel, pre-formatted for printing on 81/2 x 11 inch paper. To the extent possible, any data attachments to the submission should be included in the same file as the submission itself, and not as separate files.

For any document containing business confidential information submitted as an electronic attached file to an e-mail transmission, in addition to the proper marking at the top and bottom of each page as previously specified, the file name of the business confidential version should begin with the characters “BC-”, and the file name of the public version should begin with the characters “P-”. The “P-” or “BC-” should be followed by the name of the person or party (government, company, union, association, etc.) submitting the petition. Submissions by e-mail should not include separate cover letters or messages in the message area of the e-mail; information that might appear in any cover letter should be included directly in the attached file containing the submission itself. The electronic mail address for these submissions is FR0081@ustr.gov. Documents not submitted in accordance with the GSP regulations as modified by these instructions might not be considered in this review.

Public versions of all documents relating to this review will be available for review approximately 30 days after the due date by appointment in the USTR Public Reading Room, 1724 F Street NW., Washington, DC. Availability of documents may be ascertained, and appointments may be made from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling (202) 395-6186.

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Steven Falken,

Executive Director for GSP Program, Chairman, GSP Subcommittee.

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[FR Doc. 03-17995 Filed 7-15-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3190-01-P